LA CRESCENTA — At hand for the members of the Crescenta Valley High girls’ basketball team will be a week free from taking part in any contests.
That might suggest they will have plenty of time on their hands. Not so.
A full week of practices lie ahead for the Falcons, who dropped a 68-50 decision to Thousand Oaks on Saturday night in the third-place game of the Falcon Classic.
Crescenta Valley (2-2) will have plenty of work ahead of it before it meets Quartz Hill in a pool-play game of the Burroughs Tournament at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 15. Thousand Oaks (3-1) put on a clinic that exploited some of Crescenta Valley’s weaknesses, particularly during a 28-10 run that covered the final minute of the second quarter and the entire third that left the Falcons stunned.
“There’s a long season ahead, and when you have an off night, this is what will happen,” said Crescenta Valley fourth-year Coach Jason Perez, whose team began the tournament with lopsided victories against Villanova Prep and Simi Valley before falling to Oaks Christian and Thousand Oaks. “We didn’t rebound well and position ourselves well defensively, and [Thousand Oaks] exploited that greatly.
“Offensively, we didn’t execute. There are times when we did, but they caused us a lot of matchup issues.”
Crescenta Valley received a game-high 26 points from standout junior guard Cassie Pappas, who was named to the all-tournament team.
Pappas said the Falcons looked unorganized throughout stretches of the contest.
“Once they started their run, we seemed to lose our composure,” Pappas said. “We couldn’t hit anything, and our half-court offense wasn’t working.
“Our practices are going to need to be more intense. No more joking around. This game will hopefully give us a kick in the butt in that we can’t slack off anymore.”
The Falcons, who finished with 14 rebounds, seemed to have caught a break after junior forward Jackie Springer grabbed a rebound off a missed shot and then scored to cut Thousand Oaks’ lead to 28-23 with 34.2 seconds left in the first half. However, the Lancers went on a 5-0 run during the remainder of the second quarter before outscoring Crescenta Valley, 23-10, in the decisive third quarter to make it 56-33.
Thousand Oaks got 20 points, seven rebounds and six assists from junior guard Jenna Bandy and 13 points from junior forward Katie Deamer to crush the Falcons’ bid for a comeback. The Lancers had five three-pointers, including two from Deamer in the second half.
“Thousand Oaks was way more intense and they played harder than us,” said Perez, who got 10 points from forward Melanie Samvalian and seven rebounds from Springer.